Mordekaiser Build Guide by Jachyra
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Why to play Mordekaiser? The answer is pretty obvious - he's the general of hell, is 8 feet tall, and looks scary as f**k. Anyone who screams "death is too good for the likes of you" and shreds on a bigass spiked mace is awesome.
The problem most people have with Mord - both when playing him themselves and as his ally - is that they downright don't understand him. I wrote this guide with the intention of helping out both beginning and experienced players, and hopefully it will be a good resource for any readers out there.
“…and his name was Death (Metal), and hell came with him” – Revelations 6:8
Updates to the Guide
9-13-11: Mord gets nerfed hard.
- Iron Man - shield regeneration adjusted to 30% at all levels from 25/27.5/30%; shield regeneration is now half effective versus minions
- Mace of Spades bonus damage reduced to 65% from 75%
- Siphon of destruction no longer adds additional shield for each unit hit
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed. However, for those of you who think that Mord is no longer viable and a useless champion, I answer with this video:
"Riot tried to destroy the Metal, but they failed! /t "
Pros / Cons:
- Very independent champion (great for solo queue)
- Can turn a 5v5 teamfight into a 6v4 for 30 seconds
- Is one of the best pushers in the game and can literally walk through minion waves
- Very strong lane presence
- Is capable of soaking up tons of damage without losing any health
- Debatably the best hero in the game at fighting multiple enemies
- Scary. He is just so damn scary.
- Has no CC whatsoever (by far Mord's greatest downfall)
- Somewhat weak early game
- Is VERY reliant on having a solo lane
: A percent of the damage dealt from abilities is converted into a temporary shield, absorbing incoming damage.
The spell that makes Mord unique, blah blah blah. Everyone pretty much knows what this does: gives Mord a rechargeable shield that will protect him from damage. The more enemies you hit, the more shield you get. This is why Mord is strongest when he's surrounded by enemy minions, and is also why playing aggressively with him is effective. If you're always doing damage, your shield stays charged. The shield is also affected by armor and magic resistance, which is why it is MUCH BETTER to focus on these two categories in your build, rather than pure health. You want to get as much use out of your shield as possible, so build up plenty of armor and magic resistance.
Mace of Spades:
: On next hit, Mordekaiser swings his mace with such force that it echoes out, striking up to 3 additional nearby targets, dealing damage plus bonus damage. If the target is alone, the attack deals extra damage.
A fairly handy spell, but the least important of Mord's arsenal. Anyone who maxes this first is very silly. Throw a point into it at level 4 and leave it until your other spells are maxed. One handy little thing to keep in mind about this spell - it refreshes Mord's attack cooldown, so autoattack once and follow it up with this for a nice 1-2 combo. If the target is alone this will do a decent amount of damage. This can also be used to last hit minions that might be just out of your reach. Hit a minion close to you and let the shards finish off his friends for $$$.
: Unleashes a protective cloud of metal shards to surround an ally, increasing their armor and magic resistance and dealing damage per second to enemies in the cloud.
This is an awesome spell and should be maxed second. There are many uses for this: use it to protect yourself, use it to protect an ally who is getting focused, and finally - if you are getting zoned in the laning phase - throw this on a minion and sit back out of your opponent's range while this does your farming for you. An easy way to place your shield on yourself is Alt + W. Fun fact: this makes Mord look completely badass.
Siphon of Destruction:
: Mordekaiser deals damage to enemies in a cone in front of him. For each unit hit, Mordekaiser's shield absorbs energy.
Your bread and butter spell. This should be maxed first, should be your main farming / harassing / shield charging spell, and is your main source of damage (apart from Children of the Grave). Make sure you learn just how far this spell reaches - I often feel like I'm hitting opponents outside of its range but am still damaging them. If used right you can harass an opponent right under his turret: sneak in, blast him in the mouth, and walk away - allowing the shield you just charged up to take the shot from the turret. It is very funny.
Children of the Grave:
: Mordekaiser curses an enemy, stealing a percent of their life initially and each second. If the target dies while the spell is active, their soul is enslaved and will follow Mordekaiser for 30 seconds.
A downright hilarious spell that allows Mord to walk out of 1v2s and even 1v3s victorious. Your primary goal should be to “ghost” an enemy - preferably a ranged AD carry, such as Caitlyn, Ashe, Vayne, Kog'Maw, etc. However, if you get caught in a tight spot don't be afraid to drop this on an opponent and get some health back. The health returned to you is based on a percentage of your opponent's health, so the tankier your opponent is, the more health you will get back. Ignite is an awesome combination with this spell – I typically hit my opponent with Ignite before Children of the Grave, as the range on the latter is much further than that of the former.
The first picture shows the range on Children of the Grave, the second shows the range on Ignite. Use ignite first, so as to make sure you are within range to also hit them with your ult.
Once you have your ghost, unleash hell. You just turned the teamfight from a 5v5 into a 6v4, and can use your ghost for many purposes. Throw Creeping Death on your ghost and tank a turret, if your enemies split up send your ghost one way while you go another, etc. To control your pet just hold down the Alt key and right click to command it. It takes a bit of practice to fully master the multitasking of controlling Mordekaiser and his ghost at the same time, but you'll be unstoppable once you get it down. If you get focused by the enemy in a teamfight and they break you down to barely any health, BUT you get a ghost in the process, attempt to retreat Mord back to safety and continue fighting the enemy with your ghost. Always take full advantage of your ghost – for 30 seconds you are twice as effective as anyone else on the map. This is huge.
Make sure you are always aware of who you are playing, as some champions can effectively cancel out your ultimate. Dr. Mundo is a near impossible pet to acquire due to Sadism, and there are many champions like Zilean, Soraka, and Shen that can steal an easy kill from you with their respective ultimates. Then there are those annoying champions who have spells that simply absorb your ult, like Sivir’s Spell Shield and Nocturne’s Shroud of Darkness. Also keep in mind what items your opponents have, as a Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash, or Guardian Angel can also effectively cancel your ult. Any time I ult someone and fail to kill them, this scene from Gladiator runs through my head:
Children of the Grave is your ace in the hole; it is what separates good Mord players from bad ones. Use it wisely.
Runes should reflect your playstyle, and I selected mine to maximize my strength in midgame.
3X Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed will give you valuable movement speed. Movement speed is a very important attribute for Mord, as he is a melee fighter and has to close the gap between him and his opponents quickly. These will also help you run down and ghost an opponent with Children of the Grave as he is running away from the battle.
9X Greater Mark of Magic Penetration will help your spells pack a punch, and is very effective when combined with Sorcerer's Shoes. There really isn't any other choice of Marks for Mord - these are by far the best.
9X Greater Seal of Vitality will provide you with some extra health throughout the game. As I said before, you should focus your build more on armor and magic resistance than pure health to maximize Iron Man, and my build reflects that belief. These seals will make up some of that health that I choose not to build, and are my personal favorites.
9X Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction will give you some nice cooldown reduction, allowing you to spam your spells and keep your shield continuously charged.
As I said, runes should reflect your playstyle, and these are my personal favorites. If you are frustrated with a weak early game, I would invest in Greater Quintessence of Health, Greater Seal of Armor, and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist. These will make you stronger from the start, but I feel won't benefit you as much throughout the entire course of the game. Choose whichever style works for you.
: This is absolutely essential for Mord. Combining this with Children of the Grave is a brutal mix. You definitely want to get this.
: My preferred second summoner ability. It will give you a lot more mobility in teamfights, and can be used for both offensive and defensive purposes. When an enemy starts to get low and retreats, use this to chase him down and enslave him with Children of the Grave.
: This is commonly referred to as the best summoner spell in the game, and is not to be overlooked. If you prefer this over Ghost, feel free to take it.
: This isn't a bad spell, but it can only be used offensively. This doesn't give you the flexibility that Ghost and Flash do, which is why I prefer them.
: Ideally there should be at least one person on your team with Teleport, but it shouldn't be you. You just sacrifice too much by not taking the other spells that are listed above. Let your supports take this - you'll make it up to them by carrying.
As for the other Summoner Spells - no. Just no.
I go with 9/0/21 masteries. You definitely want to get Archaic Knowledge, so throw 9 points into Offense. It would seem to make sense to put your remaining 21 points into Defense, but then you are missing out on so many important attributes that Mord benefits from:
- Haste improves your Ghost spell. If you prefer to use Flash, just replace Haste with Blink of an Eye.
- Awareness is a huge area to invest in - you want to level up as fast as possible.
- Quickness gives a 3% boost in movement speed - the faster you are the better.
- Intelligence will further reduce your cooldowns – always a plus.
- Presence of the Master will reduce your summoner spells by 15%. You want to use your Ignite + Children of the Grave combo as often as possible, and this will really help.
The only real benefits from getting a 9/21/0 setup is towards your early game. 21 points in defense will definitely make you stronger from the start, but Utility is much more beneficial over the entire game.
When designing a build, you must take into account your champion’s strengths and weaknesses. Mord is an offtank, and you should have a good amount of durability. However, you must also build some offense so you are actually a threat and not just a walking piece of meat. With this mentality in mind, I tried to put together a set of items that provide both offense and defense. If you can throw in some helpful passives that your team can benefit from, you are good to go.
My personal favorite choice for boots. Get these as early as you can and your spells will pack a punch, especially when coupled with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. The only other reasonable choices of boots for Mord would be Mercury's Treads or Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but 95% of the time I prefer taking the extra magic penetration.
Force of Nature:
: An absolute must-have item for Mord. If you do not have this in your build you are playing Mord wrong; it’s as simple as that. This provides everything Mord needs: huge amount of health regeneration, a ton of magic resistance, and an 8% boost to your movement speed (much more important than one might think). GET THIS ITEM.
Within 24 hours I have received tons of comments on the emphasis I put on Force of Nature. I really appreciate the feedback, and I will address my thoughts on this matter now. I rush FoN for a couple reasons: 1) I love the health regeneration it brings, and 2) I love the movement speed. Throughout this guide I emphasize how important the Midgame is - massive health regeneration will allow you to stay in the action longer, and the movement speed helps you get to where you need to be. While I still believe this is a necessary item for Mord, I do concede that it is not one that needs to be rushed first. I prefer getting it as soon as possible, but it is not a necessity. If you choose not to rush FoN, I would recommend building Sunfire Cape first. If anyone has more questions on the matter, please comment and I will address them as fast as possible.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter:
: Like Force of Nature, I feel this is a must-have item with Mord and buy it almost every game. The added ability power and health are exactly what you need, and the passive you get will give all of your spells slowing effects. While only Children of the Grave gets the full 35% slow, this is still a very valuable item. In team fights you should be in the middle of everything, and a 15% slow on their entire team is not something to be overlooked.
The previous three items are your core build, and once you have them you should buy items that reflect the way the game is progressing. However, if you choose to follow the core build listed previously, you will need some armor. My favorite armor item is Sunfire Cape.
: I know a lot of people hate on this item, but I truly feel it is underrated. The stats you get for the price you pay are a great deal, which is why you see so many true tanks buying this. Furthermore, in most team fights you should be in the middle of everyone spraying **** everywhere, so the 35 magic damage per second passive this brings will really pay off. When combined with Creeping Death, you will do 115 damage per second to all nearby enemies. That’s pretty awesome.
If you are finding this to not fit your playstyle, feel free to invest in Randuin's Omen. I have never been a huge fan of Randuin’s, but to each his own. If you do decide to go with Randuins, definitely get a Heart of Gold as early as possible to take advantage of the gold-over-time. Another good armor item you might want to consider is Frozen Heart, which will give you some nice cooldown reduction, and when combined with Rylai's Crystal Scepter will turn you into a walking slow-the-hell-out-of-everyone Thornmail is another decent purchase, but you should really only get this if the other team has a Tryndamere, Master Yi, Xin Zhao, etc. who is walking through everyone.
In conclusion, you need some armor – but the item you choose should reflect how the game is progressing. Once you have some armor, you should build some more offense. My favorite item is Abyssal Scepter.
: Provides you with more ability power and magic resistance, while also bringing a helpful passive that lowers the magic resistance of all your enemies. This is a great item, but if someone else on your team has already built it, I would invest in a Void Staff or a Will of the Ancients. The only problem with Void Staff is that it is a completely offensive item, and you should still be building defense as well. Will of the Ancients is a great item, and its passive will help your allies out quite a bit.
: For a final item, I would suggest getting either a Guardian Angel, Hextech Gunblade, or Banshee's Veil. Most of the time I get a Guardian Angel, as it provides more armor and durability, along with an awesome passive. If you are feeling cocky and want to get more offense, get a Hextech Gunblade and you’ll start walking through everyone. Finally, if the enemy team is mostly AP oriented, a Banshee's Veil is a quality choice.
The Regrowth Pendant Vs. Doran's Shield Debate: I prefer getting a Regrowth Pendant and Health Potion as my starting items. This immediately gets you on the path towards your Force of Nature, allowing you to progress through your build more rapidly. However, if you know you are going to be laning against a strong AD champion, such as Caitlyn, you might want to get Doran’s Shield instead.
If I had to summarize my playstyle in one sentence, it would be this: your primary goal as Mord is to be so threatening that the enemy team HAS to focus you, thus allowing your carries to stay alive longer and keep the damage coming. This should really be the mentality of any off-tank, such as Renekton, Garen, Olaf, etc. What you lack in CC and support, you make up for in damage output. If the enemy team chooses to go after your carries instead of you – so be it. They might as well send you an engraved invitation saying “Mord, please futt-buck us all game long.”
The following three sections are an attempt to briefly lay out everything I know about Mord. I have played over 250 normal games with him and he is my go-to champion for competitive play.
The above games show a 4 game streak that took me from Silver to Gold. I had to edit out a few normal games in between them, but you can see from the dates that these games were played within close succession to each other.
I will break my playstyle down into three subgroups: early game, mid game, and late game. However, before I begin let me first put to rest a few misconceptions that are commonly placed upon Mord:
-Mord is NOT a tank. A true tank has spells that protect his allies and disrupt his enemies, like Amumu, Shen, Rammus, Malphite, Alistar, etc. While Mord should definitely be built tanky, he really doesn't bring anything to the table that helps out his allies. In other words, if you're on a team with Mord - don't expect him to save you. Just get behind him and try to keep up.
-Mord is not as strong early game as most people believe. Granted he is a dominant force in the lane and excels at bullying, but he is really not all that dangerous until he reaches level 6. My build is designed to make you most dangerous at midgame, around minutes 20-35. I feel this is the time when most games are decided, so it is most beneficial to play accordingly.
Buy your starting item(s) and head up to the top lane, where you should be soloing. You might take midlane once in a while, but top is more common. Once there, I usually follow a fairly standard routine.
DO NOT spam your spells at the start. Your spells cost health, and you don’t have the regeneration to continuously dish out damage. Plus if you end up pushing your lane, you will get ganked and embarrassed by the enemy jungler. Your primary focus should be on last hitting minions. This stage should last until you earn around 500 gold (give or take), usually right around the time you hit level 4 if farming correctly. Once you have around 500 gold, recall and pick up Boots of Speed, one Sight Ward, and as many Health Potion as you can. Then head back to your lane. NOW is when you start to bully. However, before I expand on how to bully properly, let me explain why this early recall is so beneficial:
Mord is such a strong lane presence that it would be wasteful not to play aggressively, and the items I listed out are everything you need to gain the upper hand on your opponent. You now have Boots of Speed and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, making you much faster than your enemy and excellent at harassing. You have extra Health Potion which compensate for the lack of health regeneration early on. The Sight Ward is the most important item. Once you start to dominate your opponent he WILL call for help, and the enemy jungler WILL come to gank you. Ward the river and keep an eye out for him. This is your insurance - it will save your life. I cannot stress this enough: if you are pushing your lane you MUST be using wards.
Don't just drop your ward in the bushes; put it further out into the river. This gives you more visibility and more advanced notice for when a gank is coming.
Once back to your lane, do what Mord does best: bully. Blast your opponent with everything you have, while attempting to maintain your shield at all times. If your opponent is smart, he will stay far away from his own minion wave. This forces you to choose between harassing him and keeping your shield charged, and it is a choice you will have to make yourself. With some experience, you should be able to wear your opponent down and achieve some lane control. You can now either choose between:
A) Pushing, and getting his turret down as much as possible. This is not a bad strategy – having your minions charge into a turret will make last hitting much harder for your opponent and deny them gold. However, they will still keep up on experience. To deny them experience, you should
B) Zone them and continue to last hit only. This is trickier than continuously putting pressure on his turret, but is more beneficial if you can pull it off. For a more in depth guide on how to zone, watch Shurelia’s movie below:
When your opponent starts to get impatient and challenges you during the zoning process, I usually use Mace of Spades and Creeping Death on the enemy minions (to charge my shield) and Siphon of Destruction to harass my enemy. It is a good balance of defense and offense and in my experience works very well.
To recap this section:
- Take the top solo lane
- Play conservative and last hit minions
- Recall and shop when you reach 500 gold
- Return to your lane and win
- Have a ward posted at all times
Unless you want to start roaming and ganking early, you should pretty much stay in the top lane until a turret falls, whether it be yours or his (it will be his since you’re reading this guide). I recommend getting Sorcerer's Shoes as early as possible; it will make your spells quite a bit more potent and you’ll further gain the upper hand. You should always make sure that you have enough gold for 1-2 more wards and 3-5 health potions every time you recall. As Mord you should pretty much always have a couple wards and health potions in your inventory. Plan ahead and figure out how much gold you need – it’s very annoying having to sit on your respawn and jack off while you’re waiting for that last bit of gold.
That about wraps it up for early game specifics. The laning phase should end around 15-20 minutes, and so begins the mid-game.
When the laning phase ends, you should pretty much be all over the map. Between Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Sorcerer's Shoes, and Force of Nature, you should be one of the fastest players in the game. Furthermore, you should be outfarmed and overleveled than all of your opponents. Do not wait for them to catch up - use this advantage in every way you can. What follows is a list of things you should be focusing on during this point of the game:
-Start roaming to new lanes and use your Ignite + Children of the Grave combo to pick up easy kills. When ganking, always attempt to get between the enemy and his turret if possible. Again, Mord is a melee champion, so you have to quickly close the distance between you and the poor bastard you’re about to enslave. Don’t be afraid to use Ghost if you need it to gank – I probably end up using Ghost as more of an offensive spell than a defensive one.
-Make sure that you always feel a sense of satisfaction when you leave the top lane before your opponent does. You know they just typed in “Mord MIA”, upon which all of their allies **** themselves. Everyone fears Mord - enjoy this.
-Ward the map for your team. I know I have said it many times already, but wards make such a difference. Go to Youtube and look up replays of CLG, Fnatic, AAA, etc. – all the pros all put huge emphasis on map control. You should too, and given that Mord is one of the best farmers in the game, you should be the one on your team buying wards.
I did not make the above picture, but it shows everything I want to talk about. The red circles are top priority for warding, blue circles are second, orange circles are third, and green circles fourth. Don’t try to ward all of these areas by yourself – you’ll spend all your gold on wards. However, you should personally make sure that AT LEAST the red circles are warded.
-Do your best to make sure no lanes get pushed by your enemies. If you see four or five enemy champions gather, haul your spikey *** over to that lane and defend. Mord is exceptional at stalling an enemy team when they are pushing a tower - just kill the minion wave. With no minion wave, the turret will rain down on your opponents. It is still fairly early on in the game, and it is unlikely that anyone will have built up enough durability to tank a turret without minions to back them up. When an enemy team is pushing, take out their minion wave(s), give your team time to get into position, save the day.
As I said, it is hard to really get into specifics about the midgame, as every round is different from the next. The point I really want to emphasize is that this is when you are most effective, and you should take full advantage of this. Be as involved in the action as you can – your team needs you.
Unfortunately, this is the time when Mord struggles the most. He is very strong early game (if you are careful) and is completely dominant mid game, but loses some effectiveness late game. This is due to a few reasons that are unavoidable:
-You will no longer be overleveled. At midgame you will often be multiple levels ahead of your opponents, but the longer the game goes on the more they catch up.
-You have no crowd control. Long games are often decided by a single team fight, which are often won or lost because of a single person getting overextended, stunned, and nuked. Mord has no CC. It is quite a bummer.
-Usually by this time the enemy will have figured out that you go after their AD carry every time, and they will do everything they can to stop you. The tanks will immediately focus you, that AD carry may have gotten a Quicksilver Sash, etc. Mord’s greatest weapon is ghosting an enemy, and it will become steadily harder the longer the game progresses.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Mord is a weak late game champion. You will still be very threatening and effective, just not to the level that you should be earlier on. This is why it is so important to get ahead early on and press that advantage while you have it.
Final Thoughts / Special Thanks:
Thank you very much for reading my Mord guide. I hope it was helpful and would appreciate any thoughts / comments / questions you have. I will attempt to keep my guide updated, but I am a college student and don’t have a whole lot of free time, so please bear with me.
I’ve got to give a big shoutout to TheUn4givenRage and his guide on Mordekaiser. This was the Mord guide that I used when I first started out, and is the top rated Mord guide on Mobafire. He goes into much more detail than I do, and I highly recommend reading it. It can be found at:
Finally, thanks to my brother mist15 – who introduced me to League of Legends. This guide would have never been written without you. Much love.